For the 2014 budget year, the PSC bumped the revenue fee rate up to 34 cents and the property fee rate up to 8.5 cents. If revenue numbers and property amounts stay the same for the upcoming budget year, that means the PSC will receive about $2.25 million more from the rate increases.
The PSC can change the rate without an official meeting or vote, Small said. She wasn't sure exactly when the rates were increased.
Both fees are assessed on a yearly basis. Utilities must pay the revenue fee by July 1. The property fee is due Jan. 1. Small said the PSC is still processing payments for the latest round of revenue fees.
She doesn't believe consumers will face increased utility rates as a result.
If a utility wants to raise its rates, it would have to seek approval to do so from the PSC. In considering such a request, the PSC would look at its own rates over the last three to five years, Small said.
During that time, the PSC's rates have actually gone down.
From 2009 to 2011, it charged 37 cents for the revenue fee. In 2012, it dropped the fee to 32 cents, cutting it further to 30 cents in the last fiscal year.
Even with the 4-cent increase for the upcoming budget year, the rate has still trended downward in recent years.
"It's a cost of doing business for a utility in the state," Small said.
Last week the state Purchasing Department issued an expression of interest to find a company to design prospective fixes.
The expression of interest does not include any price estimates. Department of Administration spokeswoman Diane Holley Brown said doing so would hamper efforts to get competitive bids.
The state is slated to open the expressions of interest July 16.
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